AndSoWeWent// Independent Birmingham Festival

What do you do on the first warm day of the year?

You head down to my favourite part of the city, to eat and drink yourself silly with the city's finest independent business and then finish off the day buying lovely new shiny things for yourself.

This is the 3rd Independent Birmingham Festival, and for this one, we are back at The Bond in the heart of Digbeth.

We made a decision to arrive fairly early, as we are experts at eating, and also know that you run the risk of having to queue if you arrive any later than an hour after doors open. Queuing is fine at the best of times, but today we had Small with us, and no one wants a Hangry 4 year old on their hands.

First up Food and Drink:

Low n Slow was first up with the Belly Pork, bone marrow potatoes and lemon slaw. Thinking the Small wouldn't be interested in this, both me and the BestieFerLyfe lost half of our meat! The rub was delicious, the potatoes soft and the slaw the perfect crunch.

Bake: It is no secret I have a love of all things cake, and Bake is my happy place! These purchases were for later in the evening. This time around I opted for the Raspberry Layer cake and a Creme Egg Brownie (for the fella). If you take anything from this blog post, it is that you have to try something from these guys at least once in your life! 

Jam Vs. Custard: doughnuts had to be purchased to appease the Small and fill the gap between savoury dishes. I went for the maple glazed ring doughnut, with a sneaky Custard filled for my partner in crime. As ever a good set of winners, with an oat sourdough being purchased for super sarnies at home.

Peel & Stone: As we edged later into the afternoon, it was time for Small to make his choice. Being 4 years old he zoned in on pizza goodness. Not only did he get to pick his toppings, he also got his first taste of work experience when he hopped over to see the pizza oven and give a helping hand turning the pizzas! 

ABOVE Presents: Knowing who is involved with Above Presents (both Smultronstalle and Tilt), we were excited to grab a couple of their fine beverages. Both were most excellent. One being the Rhubarb Season and the second contained Gooseberry (and I cannot remember the name: never a food blogger I shall be!)




Moving on...Shopping:

Inside the Market Hall was a feast of some of the city's finest sellers. I was excited to chat to the guys behind MiniMini for our love of all things childrenswear and boys in leggings, and Small was very excited to see Windy and Wild as she made the tiniest most delicate origami birds and boats (we still have his bird and he is still obsessed!)

When you buy from a market like this you get to chat to the people behind the product and that is one of the reasons I fell in love with my new purse. Deborette Clarke of b18 leather not only makes the most lovely leather items but runs workshops for us non-crafty humans too. After having the same purse for nearly 12 years, I finally invested in a beautiful soft leather pouch. Family and friends can expect lots of gifts from B18 over the coming year! 

The guys at Spectacle Emporium had some of the finest frames I have seen in a long time, and if anyone wants to splash out on a gift for me, this is the place to go.

My personal highlight of the day. 

GorillaBots. 

Never did I think when we headed over to the Hare and Hounds stage to find somewhere to scoff out pizza would we be exported into the magical crazy world of Intergalactic Robots.

With cardboard heads, party popper mishaps and flying balls we didn't stop giggling for 20mins. Whilst I'm pretty sure my 4-year-old isn't their demographic, he hasn't stopped going on about it since and if you ever want some fun with your funk, then these are the guys for you.

We could have easily eaten, drunk and purchased so much more, and I reckon with the next event at Aston Hall we will make a day of it and leave the cars at home.

This day is everything I love about my city.

Finally; don't forget to grab the latest Independent Birmingham card for 100's of discounts from our cities finest.

Support Local. It does good things for your soul.


*Every penny spent at this event was my own (and the BestieFerLyfe!)



Parenting Life// Today I Didn’t

As a parent, there are lots of things I don't get to do anymore. Some of those things are fun and others are just daily tasks that (let's be honest) I just don't want to do. I mean, who really wants to clean the loo! 



So I put a call out to some fellow parents (who happen to blog too) to see what else other people 'Don't do in a day'


Let me hand over to my fellow bloggers


'Today I didn't...'


'Vacuum the house because I'm tired and I need some me time. I'll do it tomorrow' 

Kiddoadventures 

'Get a wee in peace'. 

Mumsymidwife

'Wash my hair and I don’t even care' 

Thesmallestofthings  

'Get to sleep past 6 because of the kids. Grrrr!' 

Householdmoneysaving

'Do anything but sleep as my newborn likes to party at night'  

Myfamilyofroses  

And then we have some wins! 


'Burn the dinner' 🙌🏻

'   Twinderelmo

'Today I did what I wanted to do when the kids were in nursery which was nothing!' 

Anklebitersadventures

A double win for both SchoolRunShop  and ReadaraptorHatchling who didn't ...


'Have to shout at the kids' #winning  


I guess we win some and we lose some. As the Small is now 4, I am hoping the day I get to pee alone arrives soon! 

Mothers Day: Dealing with loss

Here we are people.
The day of the mum
Mothering Sunday

This is my 4th as a mum and my 9th without a mum
It’s still all a bit weird

Recently we were talking to Small about family and he popped up and said ‘your my mummy, but you don’t have one do you, because she died’

Small wanted to know why he didn’t have a second nanny. We’ve spoken to Small many times about death as I think it’s important for him to understand life isn’t all roses; and as a family who has zero interest in religion we wanted to be the people that spoke to him, so he didn’t start questioning what is heaven and everything that comes with that conversation.

BE HONEST:

The thing that never ceases to amaze me with kids is their ability to listen and digest information that we see as a topic usually reserved for grown ups. He listened and asked questions and we told him information that was appropriate for him to understand. When we asked if he had any other questions he just wanted to know if it was time for a biscuit.

When you use phrases like ‘we lost grandma’ or ‘they fell asleep’ it gives young children the impression they are coming back. Kids are so literal in their thinking, and the last thing anyone wants to do is confuse them or even worse, make them worried about sleeping.

Of course, if you follow a path of religion, then you would naturally tell them the next steps around death (be it heaven, reincarnation or anything else in between).

Kids are not afraid of words. Dying and Death are only scary if you don’t know what they mean.

My mum passed away when I was in my late 20’s and I am forever grateful that she got to see us grow up.
I am forever resentful that she never got to meet Small or my partner.

Death is cruel and no amount of talking will stop the pain, tears and greaving. But, to have those conversations instills an understanding in children, so they know that whatever happens in life, they are always loved by those around them.


If you ever want some guidance around talking to young children about this then please head to Banardos or alternately you can call them on 028 9064 5899


Am I A Feminist?

As today is International Women’s Day and with the theme of #PressForProgress, I thought it was time I put my thoughts on a digital page.

I have spent a few days looking through hashtags, getting lost in the World Wide Interwebs and have been inspired by so many captions and posts, whilst also being equally horrified at some of the comments.

We all know that the internet has created a breed of people who think it is entirely acceptable to say terrible, horrible and hurtful things to people; and all this does is show us how much more work there still is to do.

Over the past few years, I have become increasingly aware of what my privilege has given me.

Over the past months and some InstaStorms I am even more so aware. 

Moreso aware of the vast under-representation of all. 

But do I consider myself a feminist?

Actually, I don't know.

For me, it is about my moral compass

Do I believe we should all be given the same opportunity?
HELL YES
This can be for any area of life you so wish. If someone has a passion/ talent/ experience for something; then let them have a go. Believe it or not, we have equality laws in the UK to protect us, but time and time again we see/ hear stories of people being denied opportunities based on their gender (and of course there are many other reasons people can be discriminated against, but for today let’s just focus on womanhood)

Do I feel that all women are represented when we talk about inequality/ representation and diversity?
NO
Something that I have become increasingly aware of is that whilst we continue to stand tall and fight for our (and our children's) futures, not every woman is represented. I’ve spoken about my feelings on this before and I am striving to ensure that when we talk about progressing and moving forward, this includes ALL women (not just the perfect faces we see on the TV and the beautiful Instagram Feeds)

Am I active in changing opinions?
NOT ENOUGH
It all starts at home right? When my son was still at nursery I already saw the preconceptions slipping in. ‘that’s for girls’ the Small would say, ‘but I’m a boy’. It is so hard when you see people who hold influence with your children not being so active in helping them to understand why we shouldn’t say such things. 

We talk about how anyone can do whatever they like. I am trying my best to talk about ‘they’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’. It’s tough, but every day he understands a little more. And every day the language that I use is getting better.

I speak up more now. As recently as last weekend I was taking part in a scavenger hunt; when I was reading the map a teammate came over and said ‘let me take that off you’ when I asked them why he said (i kid you not) ‘well, I can read it better’.
‘i’m sorry are my boobs getting in the way of the directions?’
Now before you jump to conclusions and say maybe I was overreacting, this was the 4th time in an hour he had made a comment about the women of the group. 
Interestingly enough when I was chatting with someone about the comments later in the day their response was ‘well it’s just the way that men behave isn’t it?’



Arrghhhhhhhhhhh (was my internal response!)

I am a woman, mother, daughter, sister and all round good human and I guess if I want to see change then yes. Yes, I am a feminist.

And no. That doesn’t mean that all men are terrible humans.

It truly feels like a tide is turning as people are standing up and saying Enough. Let’s hope this change continues and we will begin to see the effect this has on our children.

I want to live in a kinder and fairer world.

Do you?